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Holloween themed food

I had a big halloween party last year and cooked tons of food all with halloween themes. ie. "Witches Fingers" - baked halfed jalapenos with a cheese bacon stuffing and an almond sliver on the tip to look like a fingernail. I am looking for creative halloween themed recipes to add to my buffet. They do not necessarily need to be in the fingerfood category. They could be whole meals as well. Thanks for your creativity : )

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  1. Stuffed mushrooms that look like eyeballs? Spaghetti intestines?

    1. Last Halloween I made a "corpse" meatloaf. It was a huge hit! Just formed the meatloaf (your favorite recipe) into a sort of gingerbread man shape, went to town with pimento olives (red eyes), slivered almonds (scarey fingernails), whatever else I could find, and then dribbled ketchup "blood" all over. Not highbrow, but it was delicious and looked great.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Kathleen M

        That's really funny. Did you add the extras before or after it was cooked? Stupid question, but I've never made meatloaf and may need to try this.

        For the OP: I thought there was a thread on this subject from last year, but I can't find it. I suggested buying a brain-shaped mold for a salmon mousse.

        1. re: Glencora

          Even funnier would be if you could stuff the middle part with spaghetti or sausage or something that looks like guts. With lots of tomato sauce, of course.

          1. re: Glencora

            well, I put the "extras" on before cooking, but the almonds got pretty dark. That looked great, but they didn't taste very good. The olives were fine. I don't really remember what else I put on it, I was just going through the kitchen looking for suitable accessories. Yea, adding guts is a good idea. I'll do that this year!

            1. re: Kathleen M

              Depending on the size of this meatloaf man, it would be hilarious to use chicken liver/ heart etc. for his organs. And maybe Udon noodles would make a good large intestine...

              But to offer a less grotesque idea, I saw this adorable idea in a magazine and tried it myself at home, and it was great -- use a bundt pan to make 2 identical pumpkin cakes (I have a pumpkin spice cake recipe I used for this, but you could definitely use a pumpkin bread, zucchini bread etc. recipe). You just turn one cake upside down (dome down) on a serving plate and put the other cake rightside up on top. Voila -- a cake in the shape of a pumpkin! A little vanilla icing over the top dome and some sour apple straws through the middle for the stem... and then of course you can icing-on some jack-o-lantern features if you want. It was really cute.

        2. Deviled eggs that look like eyes (green olives in the middle and slivered roasted peppers to give the eyes a "bloodshot" look). I do breadstick witches fingers - shape the knuckles and draw a knife across to make look like skin and then take slivered almonds and soak in red food coloring w/water overnight - then serve them with "swamp dip" - spinach dip. Have also picked up some new ideas from the new (hate to admit) Martha Stewart Halloween issue - tomato soup with mozzeralla eyeballs (stuffed w/green olives), and other fun themed things! Can't wait to hear what everyone else comes up with! We also picked up on some fun molds for jello (hands, brain) that make a fun centerpiece! There is also a fun red wine out (that's not that bad either) called "Vampire"

          3 Replies
          1. re: atlantachowhound

            Whether you do the wine or the punch thing, be sure to get a large "cauldron" (from a party supply store) and put some dry ice in. Makes a great effect, but:
            1. BE CAREFUL!! Dry ice can be dangerous to handle - do not make direct contact with hands. Use mitts.
            2. Don't put it in until people start coming into the party - dry ice effect does not last very long (unless you've bought a large supply to keep refilling).

            1. re: aurora50

              My son's school put gummy worms in the punch cauldron. For grown ups, maybe not.

              1. re: aurora50

                god help me, I will never forget a martha stewart suggestion to freeze ice or punch in a mask and two latex gloves to float a face and hands in the punch bowl...

            2. You could make the Italian cookies, ossi dei morti (bones of the dead), which are shaped like bones. They're made with a variation on meringue, so the texture's pretty bonelike, too. Plus they're deelish.

              1 Reply
              1. re: piccola

                Martha Stewart does a Halloween themed party each year with great recipes for ghoulish foods...
                Tapioca is a great "ghoulish" guts dessert.

              2. My mom makes eyeball punch. I'll ask her, but I think that it is just your favorite red punch recipe with skinned grapes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: amy_rc

                  We did a veggie tray that looked like a skeleton.

                2. Thank you so much for all of your ideas!! I am feeding 100 people and usually end up with 10-15 foods, so keep the ideas coming : )

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mtleahy

                    Our event is turning out to be a bit larger than I had hoped, so I too am looking for some large-scale recipes. Here's a couple more that I found. Paula Deen has a recipe for a shrimp mold and we have a mold that looks like a brain (think anyone will be too grossed out by it to actually eat it??). She also had a recipe for snake sandwiches - take crescent roll dough, roll it out and put mustard, ham (or whatever meat) and cheese and fold it up and shape it onto the shape of a snake (adding roasted red pepper forked tongue and olive eyes) and then bake. Can slice into individual sandiwiches. I came up with one that I think will be easy to do ahead, but may be more of a southern thing and not sure where you live. I'm going to make little bat sandwiches with pumpernickel and pimento cheese. They will look like little black bats with orange middles. Can get 2 sandwiches out of each one I make with the cookie cutter I have and I can make them ahead of time. I will also probably make some "Hallo-weenies" - miniature pigs in blanket (can keep in chafing dish) as well as some devils shrimp (spicy hot). Here's another fun take on the typical 7-layer dip - take the top layer and make a spider's web out of sour cream (concentric circles you drag out with a toothpick) and place black beans on it to look like spiders. Found most of these on the foodtv.com website. They had some good recipes for fun drinks too (like the vampire's kiss served with fake teeth in it). Too much fun!!

                  2. I made Emeril's "brain cookies" once.....Basically you use regular sugar cookie dough that you color to a gray-green-purple kind of color with food coloring, then squish it through a potato ricer (the biggest holes) into cookie size portions. Bake as usual. Then drizzle with some red gel icing for the blood effect.

                    Another thing my kids always ask for is "Hand Punch".... it's so sad, but it's just hand ice cubes made by pouring kool aid into latex gloves and freezing them . (Close with a rubber band and lay on a cookie sheet in the freezer). Then add them to a punch bowl of Fresca (they love the cloudiness with the hands floating up and down!)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jen_in_NJ

                      Wow Jen!!! Those are fantastic....hands down, you win best mom award!!!

                    2. How about Bat wings (chix wings in a dark soy glaze) ...they go over well as does a jackolantern cheese ball made with cheddar+pumpkin puree and decorated with olives, pimentos..my kids made both a couple of years and loved them..
                      Also: I second the meringue bones...they're a bit of work but really cool

                      1. You could make guacamole and put it into a mini-pumpkin jacko-lantern. Be sure to carve it for real instead of just drawing on it.

                        1. spider cupcakes -- use a chocolate cupcake, vine candies for legs, and cover a marshmallow with a glob of frosting for the head.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: weezycom

                            I forget whether someone has mentioned this or not, but I've also done deviled egg "eyeballs" - sliced olives for the "pupils", strips of pimento or tomato for bloodshot eyes -

                          2. I don't think I have any recipe suggestions people haven't mentioned already. There is an excellent science website I've used that has loads of Halloween stuff, including a brain gelatin mold and dry ice.


                            HTH and have fun! (be sure to let us know how it all turned out!) :-)

                              1. re: debit

                                haha.. that is delightfully repulsive!


                              2. I've done almond cookies shaped like witches fingers, which went over well. Also, one year, I made peanut butter eyeballs (peanut butter balls dipped in white chocolate, then decorated with gel icing). A friend of mine made a mummy once- using phyllo dough wrapped around the stuffing in the shape of a mummy- I can't recall what was inside the dough, but it was something savory. I imagine you could do a spinach-feta stuffing to make it like spanakopita.

                                1. I was just reading "Comfort me with Apples" and in it Ruth Reichl gives the recipe for Swiss Pumpkin, basically a savory bread pudding made with layers of bread and gruyere baked inside of a pumpkin that you eat by scooping out some of the baked bread along with some of the pumpkin. Sounds fantastic.

                                  1. We have a whole Halloween ecookbook, but here's a great appetizer from it:

                                    Strained Eyeballs

                                    6 eggs, hard cooked, cooled and peeled
                                    6 oz. whipped cream cheese
                                    12 green olives stuffed with pimientos
                                    red food coloring or ketchup

                                    Half eggs widthwise. Remove yolks and fill the hole with cream cheese, smoothing surface as much as possible. Press an olive into each cream cheese eyeball, pimiento up, for an eerie green iris and red pupil. Dip a toothpick into ketchup and draw broken blood vessels in the cream cheese.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Chew on That

                                      ConT--that is just too good. I am SO going to do make my nieces some eyeballs!

                                    2. For anyone else planning a Halloween Party I found several great links. Here are two of my favorite. They cake in the third link looks entirely too hard to make with all the other cooking I have to do, but thought it was worth sharing. Gross!!!


                                      1. A great punch tip that I picked up from Best of Gourmet (the called it Witches Brew) is to fill surgical gloves (the non powdered type) with water, knot and freeze, Dip in hot water to peel and add to any punch or sangria etc. for floating hands ;)

                                        1. I didn't find this in my search earlier, so I had started a new post asking the same thing. These are some really fabulous ideas...now I can't decide which one to do!

                                          I will add one though...and it's very easy.

                                          Mix together li'l smokies and BBQ sauce in a crock pot. Place on buffet table & start heating. Then stuff a pair of pants & a flannel shirt and place on table with crock pot in the middle as the guy's guts. If you want to go more elaborate, you can get a head or even just a mask from a costume store and top with a tattered hat. "Bloody" shoes complete the full outfit...but usually there's only room for the shirt & pants. Have fun!

                                            1. Okay, I wanted to update you all on what my final menu would be, maybe some of these will serve as inspiration, or just merely disgust : )

                                              1. Beer bacon cheese dip (Swamp goo)
                                              2. Buffalo chicken dip (Don't yet have a name for this one)
                                              3. Garlicky artichoke dip (Vampire repellant)
                                              4. Chile con queso w/ Scoops (Poop dip with poop scoopers)
                                              5. Bacon/cream cheese/onion mixture pinwheels (Bone Slices)
                                              6. Venetian panino sandwiches cut out in halloween shapes
                                              7. Short ribs in red wine sauce with rice (Monster meat in a bloody mary sauce with maggots)
                                              8. Chipotle peach glazed chickens (Crusty bats)
                                              9. Flavored cream cheese stuffed cherry tomatoes (Simple pimples)
                                              10 Deviled eggs (Strained eyeballs)
                                              11. Spaghetti and meatballs (Guts and eyeballs)
                                              12. Muffaletta sandwich fixin's in a crescent dough shaped like a snake (Snake bites)
                                              13. Mac & Cheese mad with spaghetti (Baked worms)
                                              14. Pepper popper (Witches fingers)
                                              15. Sausage stuffed habaneros breaded and fried with a cilantro/mint/cucumber tzatziki sauce (Devil's fireballs)

                                              Chocolate Praline Cake
                                              Chocolate Bourbon Cake
                                              Orange cookies
                                              Paula Deen’s ooey gooey bars
                                              Orange Brownies
                                              Pb&J bars
                                              Espresso cupcakes with salted caramel frosting
                                              Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
                                              Hot Chocolate cupcakes with 7 minute frosting
                                              Whit Chocolate Fondue in a fountain (colored green)

                                              Green Ghoulade
                                              Vampire Blood (both are nonalcoholic punches)

                                              Thanks for all of your ideas on this thread and a couple of other ones. Needless to say I will be cooking for 3 1/2 days straight, but our party is now over 100 people so there is a lot to make. Since I have two little ones, my mother is flying in to watch them and keep them out of the kitchen. The cooking will actually be a relaxing change and much needed therapy : )

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: mtleahy

                                                Gee, all that looks great!!!
                                                Fantastic job. : )
                                                Can I come????!!!! LOL

                                                1. re: mtleahy

                                                  Wow sounds wicked, have fun! Would love to see some pics :)

                                                  1. re: mtleahy

                                                    If it's not too late to add to your menu, I once made stuffed mushroom "dead spiders"
                                                    You stuff the mushrooms with whatever you ususally stuff your mushrooms with, then you put 8 notches around the outside. In these notches you cram whole shrimp without the tails so that they are curling toward the center of the mushroom. Make sure they are in there tight because now you dip them in egg and douse in bread crumbs and deep fry. Put them in the fridge for about an your uncovered before frying so that the crumbs stick. they end up looking like dead fried spiders all curled up!! everyone loved them. This year I'm going to try them using stuffed jalapenos instead of mushrooms. Happy Halloween!!!

                                                  2. We have made dirt. Chocolate pudding put into one of those little plastic kids wagons. Add gummy worms to it then sprinkle the top with chocolate wafer cookies (oreo cookies). Get a plastic shovel to dig out the dirt.